“Make sure you pack the peaches tin, the can opener, some paper towels and some paper plates too since it’s going to be a long drive.”
Stella opened her mouth to say something but Nolan continued, “Oh and don’t forget the knives, the hand sanitiser, the paper cups, the blanket and the trash bags.”
She opened the kitchen cabinets to fish out all the items, muttering darkly under her breath, while Nolan rattled on, oblivious to her annoyance.
“We DO have hats, sunglasses, umbrellas and rain wear packed, I presume?”
Before Stella could turn and fling the can of peaches through the window in frustration, her mother-in-law’s soft voice cut through Nolan’s monologue, saying, “Really, the ONLY thing she ever forgot to check in the last six years was her wisdom in picking you for a husband, Nolan, so just go sit in the car and we will meet you there!”
His creased forehead was furrowed in thought as he peered in serious contemplation at the Blackberry in his hand, quickly checking e-mail and messages, while she played absently with the strap of her handbag, slung over her left shoulder.
A neon light glowed on the wall above the elevator, indicating that it had reached their floor and before stepping in, on an impulse, she turned to him and said, ‘You know what we’ve never done, honey: Made out in an elevator!’
Blushing a bright shade of saffron, she regretted the words as soon as they’d left her lips as her husband of 11 years gaped at her in astonishment.
In awkward silence they entered the elevator and as soon as the doors slid shut, he turned towards her and engulfed her in a passionate kiss while simultaneously hitting the Emergency ‘Stop’ button on the panel; a sensuous, sweltering, making-her-weak-in-the-knees kiss that lasted for 23 seconds.
Lifting his head, he smiled roguishly at her as she gazed at him, with a mixture of love and shock, and said, ‘Well, you never asked for one before, did you?’
He lay perfectly still on the cotton sheets, waiting for Lisa’s breath to become even and regular, indicating that she was in the throes of the deepest slumber.
Gently, he wriggled his toes out from under the comforter and slid them off the bed, his torso following suit, as he slithered, snake-like, noiselessly out of his side of the four-poster bed.
Slipping on his bedroom slippers, he padded quietly towards the corridor, even as the clock on the wall shone a radiant green, indicating that the hour was twenty past midnight.
Furtively, he hurried to the kitchen and without turning on the light, he felt his way to the large freezer and opened it to find what he wanted inside, where Lisa had kept it, furious that he’d ignored her all through dinner.
Sighing, by the neon glow of the refrigerator, he quietly read the last three pages of the whodunit novel and smiled, thinking, I was right about the killer!